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New Syria death toll put at 150,000

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Syrian civil war has claimed the lives of at least 150,344 people, most of them rebel or government fighters, as it enters its fourth year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced Tuesday.

According to the observatory, an organization based in Britain that collects information from monitors deployed around Syria, 51,212 civilians have died since the violence started in March 2011. That's 34 percent of the total.

The remainder of the dead are rebel fighters or Syrian government troops and militia.

The observatory put the total of pro-government combatants dead at 58,480, including 364 members of the Lebanese Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah and 605 fighters from Iranian special forces and Iraqi Shiite militias.

Rebel dead totaled at least 37,781. Of those, 26,561 were Syrians, the observatory said, including 2,286 who had defected from the army. At least 11,220 foreigners have died fighting with the rebels, 29 percent of the total rebel dead. They included members of the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the al-Qaida-inspired group that recently has clashed with its fellow rebels over its imposition of harsh fundamentalist practices in the areas of Syria it rules.

The observatory said it hadn't been able to identify an additional 2,871 people whose bodies had been shown in videos posted on the Internet.

New Syria death toll put at 150,000 04/01/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 10:32pm]
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